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Development Policy Seminars

This seminar series covers topical policy issues of interest to the development community. It brings in speakers both from the UN system and outside academics. The topics range from trade and industrial policies to income distribution to the management of financial markets. Any corresponding paper prepared by the speaker is also generally made available in an electronic format for download from this site.

Seminars are generally held on Wednesdays from 16:00 pm to 17:30 pm in conference room DC2-2330.

Recent Seminars: 2015

  • Development Policy Seminar: Transforming MDG growth patterns for SDGs (9 February 2015)

    Pingfan Hong, Director of DPAD/DESA, will be presenting his analysis on the growth patterns of MDGs and how it needs to be transformed for the new Sustainable Development Goals this Wednesday, 11 February 2015, 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm at the United Nations Secretariat, Room S-2727FC.


  • Economics: The User's Guide (17 September 2014)

    Economics Seminar

    Dr. Ha-Joon Chang, Faculty of Economics at University of Cambridge, was the featured speaker at the Development Policy Seminar held at the UN Headquarters today. Speaking on his most recent book, Economics: The User's Guide, Dr. Chang introduced a wide range of economic theories, from neo-classical to Schumpetarian, revealing their strengths and weaknesses and demonstrating why there is no one way to explain economic behaviour.

  • The global consumption and income database: material living standards within and across countries over 50 years (12 February 2014)

    Sanjay Reddy, Associate Professor of Economics at the New School for Social Research, made an inaugural presentation of a new database on material living standards within and across countries for the past 50 years, developed through joint research with Arjun Jayadev of Boston University and Rahul Lahoti, an independent scholar on inequality, poverty and gender.

    The database covers income and consumption and allows the calculation of poverty incidence, income and consumption inequality and the measurement of levels of well-being based on consumption and income profiles. The steps taken to compile the data, standardize the distributions, estimate the means of the dataset and addressing missing data were explained. The dataset presently covers 148 countries and has numerous potential applications, including for example the study of the evolution of absolute and relative living standards, or tracing whether growth has been inclusive over time. The Development Policy Seminar was attended by analysts from across DESA, academics from New School and New York University and staff of some Member States representations (Finland and Argentina).

  • The Great Escape: Health, Wealth and the Origins of Inequality (22 January 2014)

    Professor Angus Deaton, Professor of Economics and International Affairs at Princeton University, will be the guest speaker at the Development Policy Seminar to be held on January 22, Wednesday, from 3:00 to 4:30 pm at S-2727.

    Prof. Deaton will be discussing his recently published The Great Escape: Health, Wealth and the Origins of Inequality which tells the remarkable story of how, starting 250 years ago, some parts of the world began to experience sustained progress, opening up gaps and setting the stage for today's hugely unequal world. Deaton will take an in-depth look at the historical and ongoing patterns behind the health and wealth of nations, and will address what needs to be done to help those left behind.


  • Designing Millennium Development Goals for a More Just World (7 November 2013)

    Rehman Sobhan, Chairman of Centre for Policy Dialogue, a prominent think tank in Bangladesh, presented a seminar on "Designing Millennium Development Goals for a More Just World" in New York. Prof. Sobhan, who also served as a member of Bangladesh Planning Commission and the Economics Affairs Adviser (Minister) to the Caretaker Government in 1991, drew upon his extensive research into the issues of poverty and inequality and his policy experience. In particular, he referred to ideas and suggestions that he had put forward in his recent book Challenging the Injustice of Poverty: Agendas for Inclusive Development in South Asia (Sage 2010). He thought that, instead of looking at the symptoms of poverty and inequality, it is necessary to go into their structural causes and address them effectively. In particular, he noted the importance of redistribution of assets, increasing the share of the primary producers in the value added, giving people more stake in the productive enterprises, improvement in the access to quality education and health care, democratization of governance, and establishment of a more just global order. He thought that the discussion of post-2015 goals should take up all these issues for consideration. The seminar was organized by the Development Policy and Strategy Analysis Unit of DPAD/DESA as part of the Development Policy Seminar Series.

  • Inclusive Development Policy in India: Evaluating the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (19 June 2013)

    Dr. Eduardo Zepeda Miramontes, Intra-regional Policy Coordinator in DPAD/DESA, will present his study on "Inclusive Development Policy in India: Evaluating the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme" on Wednesday, June 19th at 3 pm in S-1518. This presentation is part of the Development Policy Seminar series sponsored by the Development Strategy and Policy Analysis Unit of DPAD.

  • Inter-temporal macroeconomic trade-offs and payoffs of human development strategies (29 April 2013)

    Marco V. Sánchez, Economic Affairs Officer in the Development Strategy and Policy Analysis Unit of DPAD, presented a background paper, co-written with Martin Cicowiez, at the Development Policy Seminar held on April 23. The presentation focused on the drivers of potential, medium- to long-run economic gains from past human development investments in pursuance of the MDGs. These gains have been quantified through policy analyses, drawing on a computable general equilibrium model for four developing countries: Bolivia, Costa Rica, Uganda and Yemen.

  • Will the Poor be 'Always With Us'? Global Growth, Distribution and the Prospects for Poverty Eradication in a Carbon-Constrained World (19 February 2013)

    Presented by David Woodward, independent writer and researcher, based in the Netherlands

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